Surya Namaskar

Your passport to good health and better immunity
Surya Namaskar

One of the ways to combat stress and anxiety is to boost one’s immunity system and develop a mindfulness that results in a balanced outlook.  Regular practice of Yoga which is a holistic approach to life can result in small, incremental improvements that improve body’s defence mechanisms.

Today, we will focus on the importance of Surya Namaskar which is a series of yogic postures (Asanas) that one can practice anywhere. All you need is willingness to practice along your body and mind. Typically, it is to be done at sunrise – however, so long as one has a gap of at least 3-4 hours between the practice and last meal, it should be perfectly fine. So long as humans have existed on Earth, the Sun has held fascination for its light, radiation, movement, warmth and a host of other mysteries, that have slowly been explained as a result of advancements. However, across geographies and cultures, the importance of our Sun to existence has held firm.

Surya Namaskars, also known as sun salutations, were practiced thousands of years ago by people who may have worshipped the Sun. Surya means sun, the creator of all things and Nama means to bow or to worship. There are about 12 mantras to be chanted to offer our prayers and gratitude to the Sun. Apart from offering a prayer and gratitude, it is also a wonderful exercise. It involves all the parts of the body and helps to  increase stamina, strength and endurance with regular practice.

Surya Namaskars, also known as sun salutations, were practiced thousands of years ago by people who may have worshipped the Sun. Surya means sun, the creator of all things and Nama means to bow or to worship. There are about 12 mantras to be chanted to offer our prayers and gratitude to the Sun. Apart from offering a prayer and gratitude, it is also a wonderful exercise. It involves all the parts of the body and helps to  increase stamina, strength and endurance with regular practice.

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It is called  ‘The Ultimate Asana’ and one keeps hearing from various Yoga instructors that a simple practice of Surya Namaskar is adequate to keep you fit, supple and mentally alert acting on the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the body.

In short, it helps in

  • improving flexibility and strength (physical benefit)
  • calming the mind and activate blocked chakras of the body (emotional and mental benefit) and
  • cultivating the mind when mantra chanting is involved (spiritual benefit).

Surya Namaskar is a combination of 8 asanas where 4 are repeated, giving a total of 12 postures to complete one set. It engages almost 92% of the body’s muscles from head to toe strengthening our back, lower body, upper body as well as core muscles. It also improves metabolism and assists in losing belly fat. It improves blood circulation which in turn imparts a glow on your face as it releases toxins out of the body. It helps in spine strengthening which is literally the backbone of the body as most nerves of the body pass through the spine. Furthermore, it helps in boosting the performance of sluggish glands and improves irregular menstrual cycles. In a nutshell, it is a comprehensive workout that benefits the entire body – when done at a slower pace, helps to improve flexibility; when done at a moderate pace helps to improve the muscular tone and when done at a fast pace it helps to lose weight.

In our next blog, we will look at each of the Asanas in the series that acts on particular muscle groups. Until then, go ahead and practice.

Namaste

Lifestyle Yoga Team

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